Trust Me, Trust Me Not...

Last time connection and this time trust. A topic so intimately related to connection, it's tough to decide which comes first- trust or connection. The old chicken or egg dilemma. 

Do we need to trust someone first to be able to build a connection? Or do we need to feel connected to someone in order to trust them? 

The answer of course depends on the person, but one thing that's for sure is trust simply has to be there in order for a relationship to grow.

Not surprisingly my concept of trust shifted when life got tricky. My parents separated. There was increased pressure from my peers. And up until that point I approached everything with an open heart and a trusting spirit. Perhaps some would call it naivety. I would call it being a child. 

From then on, I became cautious and tentative. And this followed me throughout my adolescence and into adulthood. I was extremely private and held everything very close to my heart. It took me a long time to open up to someone and it was remarkably easy for me to close back down again. 

More than a few times throughout my life, some of my closest friends realised that they knew way less about me than I did about them. And I liked it that way. 

At the time this protective armour served its purpose. I felt a sense of safety within keeping things to myself. I couldn't be hurt. I couldn't be let down. I tested people to see if they could be trusted. More often than not, they failed to live up to my impossible standards. 

And so I remained isolated and lonely despite being surrounded by people who simply wanted to love me, to be a part of my life. My strategy to remain safe and protected was actually working against me.

It wasn't in my nature to assume someone couldn't be trusted and then force them to prove me wrong. To take on the grueling task of earning my trust.

Although being selective is important and discerning who we can and want to trust is within our grasp, what was in my nature was giving people the benefit of the doubt and believing in their ability to rise to the occasion.

I had to work to shift things back for me. To be able to let go of old stories that no longer fit. And throughout the transition of course I was burned. It happens to everyone. But what I didn't let it do anymore was close me. 

Because that open heart and trusting spirit gets me through. And the shift back to that had to start with me. Once again embracing the openness and trust I had lost so many years ago (more on how, later). In struggling to trust others, what I really struggled with was trusting myself. 

Love & Trust Fiercely,

Carmen